Category: College Application Tips
College Application Tips
Application Strategy: Learn How Early Decision Works
Once you’ve put the finishing touches on your list of best-fit colleges, it’s time to consider application strategy. More specifically, rising seniors need to decide when they will apply to the schools on their list.
Early Decision can be a great application option for a student who is passionate about a certain school and able to meet the deadline. Keep reading to learn more about this application strategy and to determine whether applying early is the right move for you.
Yield Rates for the Class of 2026
After many colleges reported all-time low acceptance rates, some students might be curious about their yield rates, or just how many of these admitted applicants have chosen to enroll. Yield is a priority for every college because it impacts their place on rankings lists and it can also influence their bond ratings.
How to Write a College Application Essay That Makes an Impression
If you’re under the impression that grades and standardized test scores are the only admissions criteria that really matter, think again. While it is true that these types of hard factors carry significant weight throughout the admissions process, well-written essays that reveal your true personality are also extremely important.
When it comes time to start writing your personal statement and supplements, you need to work diligently and develop several drafts so you can create content you are genuinely proud of.
Keep reading to learn more about the importance of application essays and what you can do to stand out!
The Essential Guide to Acing the College Application Process
While the application process may seem intimidating at first, every student’s college admissions journey is an opportunity to discover more about themselves and their academic goals. With the right strategy, all students will be able to identify their own best-fit schools and showcase why they deserve a spot on campus.
Harvard Waitlist: How Hard Is It to Get Off of It?
Harvard is one of the most popular first-choice colleges for students, and it’s also one of the most competitive. In fact, in the latest admissions cycle, just 3.41% of applicants were offered a seat in the first-year Class of 2027.
Given this competitive admissions rate, some very talented students are going to find themselves on Harvard’s waitlist. While most applicants have a general idea of what a waitlisted outcome means, few understand how waitlists really work and what they can do to boost their odds of admission, which is what we’re going to explore here:
When Should You Write a Letter of Continued Interest?
A letter of continued interest (often referred to as a LOCI) is a written statement that a student sends to the admissions office of a school they are still interested in attending, despite being deferred or waitlisted. Generally, these letters reiterate the student’s interest in and fit for the college in question and update the admissions office on any achievements that the student has earned since submitting their initial application.
2023-24 Common App Essay Prompts
The Common Application has announced the personal statement essay prompts for the 2023-24 admissions season.
How to Get Into USC: All You Need to Know
The University of Southern California, or USC, as its best known, is a top research university and one of the most selective schools in the country. Located in sunny Los Angeles, California, it’s been a pioneer in academic and research initiatives since its beginnings in the late 19th century. Today, it’s one of the most prestigious and desirable academic experiences in the country and the world.
How to Find Accurate College Acceptance Rates
Every year we hear about “record-low college acceptance rates” for a number of already highly-selective colleges and universities. With more students applying to more colleges, it’s no surprise that many schools across the US are seeing their admission rates drop; however, that’s not always the case for every institution. When building your balanced college list, it’s important to understand how your profile stacks up against the most recently admitted class and the overall college acceptance rates for each school to which you plan to apply. There are a number of places to find this information, but it’s not always easy to find, so we’ll break it down for you:
How to Get Into Vanderbilt: All You Need to Know
As a highly selective institution that’s known for its engineering, education, music, and humanities programs, it’s easy to understand why many rank Vanderbilt at the top of their college lists. This university offers many strong areas of study and is located in the heart of Nashville, one of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the country.
With a stellar reputation and thousands of applicants each year, students must go the extra mile to earn a spot at Vanderbilt. Read on to learn more about what sets Vanderbilt University apart and learn best practices to increase your chances of admission.
Study Tips for High School Students
The key to good grades is studying the material so that students understand the concepts and can apply them in the classroom. However, many students don’t practice effective study methods in high school, causing them to either memorize and forget information, or not fully grasp the concepts. These bad study habits can roll over into college – making the transition into a college course load even more difficult. You can avoid this by following some simple but effective study tips.
IvyWise Students Share Their Top College Prep Tips
For current high school seniors, the college application season is in full swing. We caught up with our Class of 2023 IvyWise Scholars to learn more about their college admissions journeys, what it’s like to work with IvyWise during this process, and get some of their college prep tips for other college-bound students.
Community Service During the Holidays
5 Ways to Narrow Down Your College List
Finalizing your list of best-fit schools is one of the most important steps of the college application process. Between writing supplemental essays, finalizing personal statements, and requesting letters of recommendation, there’s a lot that students need to prioritize – and often, they put off the difficult task of narrowing down their long list of best-fit schools. Keep reading to learn more about what you should keep top of mind so that you can narrow down your college list and stay ahead of the game on all of your applications.
Which High School Classes Will Set You Up for Success in College?
If you already know what field you want to study in college, or even have a general idea of your preferred discipline, taking some high school classes that align with your future college curriculum can save a lot of time and energy. But how do you know which high school classes will set you up for success in college?
What to Do After Submitting College Applications
For high school seniors across the country, the past few months have likely been a whirlwind of writing, editing, and putting the final touches on early college applications. While finishing up the last of your applications can feel like a satisfying achievement, many students are at a loss for what to do next. For some applicants, the period between hitting ‘submit’ and learning their admissions decisions can be particularly stressful. Here’s what you need to do after submitting college applications, including how to keep application anxiety at bay and make the most of your last semester of high school.
6 Healthy Ways to Unwind While Waiting For Admissions Decisions
Many college-bound students who applied in the early round are holding their breath for their admissions decisions from their list of best-fit schools. After months of test preparation, studying, essay writing, and visiting schools, sometimes waiting for the results of this hard work can feel like the most difficult part of the entire process, especially if you still have regular decision applications to complete.
How to Stand Out When Applying for Scholarships
Scholarships are a win-win: students can help reduce the costs associated with attending college while also adding to their resumes. As an added bonus, the vast array of different scholarship options out there means there is truly an opportunity for every student.
While the application process will vary depending on the scholarship you are pursuing, there are some tried and true tips that can help students stand out from the pack. Keep reading to learn more about what it takes to craft a compelling scholarship application.
Brown Admissions Interview: 14 Brown Interview Questions
Getting a spot at Brown University, one of seven universities that make up the Ivy League, is exceptionally competitive. To earn a seat in the incoming class, students need to do more than get good grades; they also need to stand out in each component of the application process. In the past, this would have been through the interview; now, however, the best way to stand out is through the video introduction.
This short video intro gives applicants an opportunity to express their interest in attending the institution, as well as showcase their personalities. This is a great opportunity to to set yourself apart for all the right reasons during the process, so take advantage of it!
3 College Visit Red Flags
By Tasha, IvyWise College Admissions Counselor
As we head into fall and winter breaks, you might consider taking your college search to the next level by going on college tours and visits. Though the pandemic has vastly changed the landscape of what is possible – there are many virtual tour possibilities – when possible and safe, you should do your best to go on in-person tours.
If you are going on many college visits during a short period of time, during fall break, for example, it can be easy to start feeling overwhelmed. The details of each college may start to blur, and everything can start looking and sounding the same. It is important to take breaks and take a step back to ensure that you are getting the most out of your college visit experiences and to keep an eye out for any red flags you may find along the way.
5 Fall College Prep Tips for Seniors
It’s that time of year: the weather is starting to cool, the leaves are getting ready to change color, and pumpkin spice products are around every corner. Some students start to slow down as Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks approach, but while having time to unwind is essential, continuing your momentum through the fall will ensure you’re prepared not only for the college admissions process, but also college itself.
Balancing senior year and the college application process can be a bit stressful, but don’t let it overwhelm you. We’ve compiled some college prep tips that will help you make the most of your senior year and finish strong.1. Set Academic Goals
By senior year, you’ve probably been told to set goals numerous times already. While it may seem like a mundane task, navigating the fall semester with a clear set of goals in mind will allow you to get ahead and finish out the year with ease. Setting academic goals will also help you continue an upward trajectory and make the most of your last year of high school. If you struggle to set goals for yourself, your college counselor can help identify some areas of improvement to set goals that would be most beneficial for
How to Answer the “Why This College?” Essay Prompt
This essay, while seemingly simple, can help take an application from the “maybe” pile to the “accepted” stack. It is also a great opportunity for students to demonstrate their interest, knowledge of the school, and make a lasting impression on the admissions office. So, how do you write a killer “why this college” essay?Research, Research, Research
This is a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate your interest in a college and highlight that you’ve done your research in the schools to which you apply. If tens of thousands of other applicants all chose to apply to Brown University, for example, what makes you so special? This is where admissions officers will turn to the supplement prompts. After all, if you were in their shoes, would you be more likely to admit the student that answers the “Why Brown?” question with deep consideration about their academic future,
The Pros and Cons of Applying Early This Fall
By Carolyn, IvyWise College Admissions Counselor
The weather here in my home state of Tennessee is finally starting to cool, there is pumpkin spice creamer in my coffee, and I just squashed what will (hopefully) be one of the last mosquitoes of the year. And with the change in the seasons, of course, comes the first wave of college application deadlines. Over the past several years, applying early to colleges has become a popular trend, and many colleges have developed a multi-deadline admissions process that might include Early Action, Early Decision, Single-Choice Early Action, and/or Regular Decision options. Whether or not to apply early can be a stressful decision even in “normal” years, but even more so in recent application cycles that have been headlined with record-high applicant rates and record-low admit rates.
With early application deadlines fast approaching, it’s important to consider whether applying early is the right choice for you. Of course, the decision of when to apply to the colleges on your list is entirely up to you, your family, and your counselor, but I have put together a list of pros and cons of applying early that will
How to Get Into Harvard: All You Need to Know
When it comes to college acceptances, many applicants view Harvard as the gold standard for admissions success. While the Ivy League college may not be a best-fit option for every student, there’s no doubt that plenty of future applicants are eager to gain a seat in Harvard’s next class of admitted students. So what does it really take to get in?
How to Get Into Harvard University: Table of ContentsWhen to Apply to Harvard University How Hard Is It to Get Into Harvard: Early Prep How Do You Actually Get Into Harvard: The Application Class Profile What Makes Harvard University Unique?When to Apply to Harvard University
Getting into Harvard is a major accomplishment and it doesn’t happen overnight. Gaining a seat at the top-tier institution takes time, hard work, dedication, and some careful planning. If you’re a student asking yourself “How do I get into Harvard?” or a parent wondering how to prepare your child for college, the first step is to develop an in-depth understanding of what goes into the application process and when you need to get started. Generally, students submit their undergraduate applications to Harvard
How to Get into Princeton: All You Need to Know
Princeton tops many students’ lists for dream schools to attend. Like most other Ivy League colleges, the university is known for its rigor and increasingly competitive applicant pool. As competition for a seat at the top-rated college intensifies, most future applicants are asking themselves the same question: what does it really take to earn admission to Princeton University?
How to Write the Brown Supplemental Essays
Brown is at the top of plenty of students’ best-fit lists, so it’s no surprise that most prospective applicants want to do everything they can to stand out in their applications. While grades and course rigor carry the most weight in admissions decisions, students also need to write compelling essays that demonstrate their interest in attending the college.
In addition to the personal statement, students must prioritize the Brown University supplemental essays when compiling their application. Keep reading to learn more about the supplemental essays that Brown requires, as well as what it takes to write a top-tier personal statement.What Essays Does Brown Require?
Like most colleges, Brown University requires applicants to submit a personal statement as part of the Common Application. Students can choose from the Common Apps’ list of prompts and compose a response of approximately 650 words.
Brown University has a series of supplemental essays that students must answer in addition to the required Common App essay. For first-year applicants, there are three questions, and each response should be approximately 200-250 words. For students applying to Brown’s Program in Liberal Medical Education (PLME), there
2022-23 Coalition Application Guide
While the Common Application is the most widely used college application, it’s not the only option for students who are getting ready to apply to their best-fit colleges. The Coalition Application is an alternative that now counts more than 150 institutions as member colleges.
Columbia Interview Questions: What to Expect
For students who dream of attending an Ivy League university in a big city, Columbia University is often their top choice school. The college is renowned for its academic rigor and its core curriculum, which is the cornerstone of a Columbia education. Given these factors, it’s no surprise that gaining admission is exceptionally competitive.
Students need to do well in every component of the application process in order to stand out, and that includes the interview. Keep reading to learn more about Columbia interview questions, so you can be prepared to stand out and ace your interview.What Is a Columbia Admissions Interview Like?
The first step to excelling during the Columbia University interview is understanding exactly what goes into the process and what makes it unique. You should know that you will be speaking with a regional alumnus and not a member of the admissions office. Interviews are meant to be more informational than evaluative, so they tend to have a relaxed tone. You will typically be assigned to an alumnus who lives in your area, so this is a great opportunity to see what a Columbia
Top 10 Most Popular Majors at Stanford
Most students know that Stanford is one of the country’s most prestigious colleges. However, far fewer prospective applicants possess an in-depth understanding of the most popular majors at Stanford University and the courses that set the school apart.
While virtually all Stanford programs are going to be engaging and academically challenging, there are a few that have gained significant popularity. Keep reading to learn more about the best majors at Stanford University and the classes students should put at the top of their wish lists.
Stanford Interview: Questions and How to Ace Them
As Stanford is one of the most competitive schools in the country, being admitted into this school is an incredible accomplishment. To gain a seat in the class, applicants need to excel in every component of the admissions process, including the optional interviews.
Many high school students may be new to interviewing, so it’s important to research what the conversation will be like if you want to maximize your performance. Keep reading to learn more about Stanford undergraduate interview questions and what you can do to put your best face forward.Do All Stanford Applicants Get Interviews?
It’s important to keep in mind that interviews are not a mandatory part of the admissions process at Stanford University. Applicants can pursue an optional interview with alumni if they would like. If you’re wondering how to get into Stanford, an excellent interview won’t guarantee you a spot in the class. However, it can help you demonstrate your interest in attending the college and help you learn more about the school from a new perspective.What Percentage of Stanford Applicants Get an Interview?
While getting into Stanford
Understanding EA vs. ED vs. EDII and More
Did you know that you can apply to a college early and get a decision way before most other students? Many colleges offer “early” application options, with students usually submitting their applications in October or November and receiving a decision by December. With the rise in the number of students applying to multiple colleges, and the difficulty of predicting yield, many colleges are offering a number of early application options. So how do you know if applying early is right for you?
How to Get Into Stanford: All You Need to Know
While Stanford may not technically be part of the Ivy League, the school’s academic caliber—not to mention its competitive admissions process—rivals that of Harvard and Yale. Many students are eager to enroll in the top-tier university, which has a wide array of renowned programs including engineering and environmental science.
Although earning admission at Stanford University is challenging, there are a few steps applicants can take to set themselves up for success. Keep reading to learn more about how you can set your application apart.
How to Get Into Stanford University: Table of ContentsWhen to Apply to Stanford University How Hard Is It to Get Into Stanford: Early Prep How Do You Actually Get Into Stanford: The Application Class Profile What Makes Stanford University Unique?When to Apply to Stanford University
If you’re looking to gain admission to Stanford University, it’s important to understand the application timeline. Most applicants apply to Stanford during their senior year of high school, but those that are offered admission begin preparing to apply years earlier. Some students may choose to
A Complete Guide to Stanford Letters of Recommendation
While grades may carry the most weight in college admissions decisions, there are many other important components of the undergraduate application process, including your letters of recommendation. These letters allow admissions officers to learn more about who a student is, the role they play in the classroom, and how they might shape their college campus.
Consequently, students need to make sure that their letters of recommendation present them in the best possible light, especially if they’re applying to highly competitive colleges like Stanford University. If you want to learn more about how to ask for a letter of recommendation for Stanford University, read on for some top tips and best practicesHow Many Letters of Recommendation Does Stanford Require?
There’s a lot of uncertainty about how to get into Stanford. Ultimately, the application process includes quite a few factors which will contribute to your admissions prospects.
When it comes to the letters of recommendation, Stanford only requires two from different high school teachers. The university recommends requesting letters from 11th or 12th grade teachers in subjects like math, English, science, history, or
What To Know About Applying To Stanford
Although not technically part of the Ivy League, Stanford is virtually as selective as any of the institutions within this esteemed group of colleges. While they did not release admission data for the class of 2026, Stanford’s acceptance rate was 3.95% for the class of 2025, and we expect the school to continue at this level of selectivity moving forward.
While it’s no doubt that a Stanford acceptance letter requires tremendous academic ability and a serious work ethic, there are several steps students can take to increase their admissions odds. Keep reading to learn more about the elite college and what it takes to successfully apply to this top school.
The MIT Interview: What It Is Like and How to Ace It
Most STEM students already know that MIT is one of the most reputable names, not to mention an exceptionally academically rigorous college. However, there is still a lot of uncertainty about their admissions process, including the MIT interview. There’s a lot you can do to stand out in this part of the process.
Interviewing at a college can be an excellent way to set yourself apart and demonstrate your in-depth knowledge and enthusiasm for the school. Read on to learn what you can do to ace your MIT interview.What Is an MIT Admissions Interview Like?
Every student wants to know what the interview process is really like at their first-choice school. If Massachusetts Institute of Technology is that school for you, keep in mind that the interview process is relatively informal. It’s designed to be a casual conversation, which means you don’t need to dress up too much. For the 2021-2022 admissions cycle, all MIT interviews were held virtually.What Percentage of MIT Applicants Get an Interview?
MIT strives to provide every applicant with the opportunity to interview with an Educational Counselor (EC). Educational Counselors conduct MIT admission interviews. There are over
What Is the Harvard Graduation Rate?
Since Harvard University is one of the most competitive and academically rigorous colleges in the United States, applicants know that earning admissions can be a challenge. However, students are often less aware of the challenges they might face once they actually enroll at Harvard. Have you ever wondered about Harvard’s graduation rate?
Graduation rates measure how many students complete required coursework for a four-year program within six years of enrollment. Read on to learn more about Harvard’s graduation rate and how it compares to other colleges.Why Are Retention and Graduation Rates Important?
Graduation rates are an important statistic because they serve as an indicator of how much support students have and the university’s commitment to helping students succeed. Similarly, retention rates are another valuable metric to consider because they provide a short-term view of how satisfied students are with their college experience. Graduation rates, unlike retention rates, are frequently factored into college ranking lists, like US News & World Report and Forbes.What Is the Graduation Rate at Harvard?
According to the most
5 Ways High School Prepares You for College Life
If college is the gateway to the real world, then high school is the long highway that precedes it. After four years of high school, you might feel as though you are totally unprepared for the challenges of higher education. Although pumped-up academic standards are a big part of the college transition, being a college student also calls for independence, maturity, and responsibility.
UCLA Acceptance Rate and Stats: What it Takes to Get In
With a sprawling California campus, top tier academic offerings and Division 1 sports teams, it’s no wonder that UCLA emerges as a top-choice institution for many high school students. Given its popularity, students need to prepare thoroughly in order to emerge as competitive applicants.
2022-23 Common App Supplements
Many schools utilize the Common App as their primary application form, and school-specific supplements allow every institution to customize this universal application in order to build a well-rounded first-year class.
6 Tasks Rising Seniors Should Do Before School Starts
Most rising seniors have a lot on their to-do lists in order to prepare for the college application process this fall. Students who get a jumpstart on the process before school is back in session and are often at a major advantage because they’re able to make the most of senior year and keep stress at bay.